I was able to forgive those who had driven my family to death.
God cleansed me of my past sins and healed me of the horrible pain of my wounds.
Those are the translated words of two North Korean believers whose lives have been transformed by the Word of God. They are some of the blessed few who have access to the Bible within the borders of their oppressive nation. Small, secret congregations meet wherever they can to escape the ever-watchful eye of the authorities and their civilian spies. They often use hand-copied portions of the Scriptures or a single shared Bible.
In doing so, North Korean Christians take huge risks. Possession of a Bible can bring the penalty of death or imprisonment in a hard-labor camp—which often is nothing less than a slow death sentence.
Our challenge has been to place more Bibles into the hands of North Korean believers in a way that doesn’t put them at great risk. Some of our partners serving the North Korean underground church have found a solution: digital media players.
Digital media players are like small iPads, but they cost only about $50 each, which includes purchase, preparation and shipment. They can be loaded with the entire Korean Bible, along with an audio version for those who can’t read, additional teaching materials for underground pastors and evangelists, and movies such as the Jesus Film.
For safety’s sake, blank digital players are first smuggled into North Korea, as they contain no incriminating content if confiscated. Then, micro data cards about the size of a small postage stamp, preloaded with the Bible and other content, are smuggled separately and with much greater ease due to their small size. Once the cards are inserted into the players, families can huddle under a blanket to secretly read, listen and watch.
God is already using this new tool to expand His underground church, and we’re glad to be able to be a part of His plan through gifts to the Bibles for Believers Fund. We’ve sent 25 digital player Bibles into North Korea so far, and we hope to send many more.
Here are some final words, penned by a North Korean believer, who is thankful to know, memorize, and obey God’s precious Word:
God cleansed me of my past sins and healed me of the horrible pain of my wounds. He says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:16-18).” Memorizing this verse, I prayed to our almighty God, and I sensed great peace coming to my heart when I laid all my burdens, along with my fate, future, body and life, before the Lord.”